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Suggested Call Ups, Starting 11

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At this moment our results are garbage. Real issues with coaching structures, players etc but things can change relatively quickly. This isn't months, but years in the making.

I agree we have to take a long term view of things and if that means sacrificing the couple of qualification campaigns then I'm fine with that.

we went from an average team in 2002 WC qualifying to topping Euro 2004.

I don't really care for these stronger nations. When we draw them in future qualification.

Croatia, Switzerland, Sweden, Russia, Denmark, Wales, Belgium, Ukraine, Slovakia, Bosnia and 20 other nations aren't our better. I'd even think England and Holland aren't the team everyone thinks they are.

Regardless, dropping in the rankings and drawing stronger opposition is not the problem we need to address.

We need to have a serious internal review and stop papering over massive chasms with temporary solutions.

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Friendlies are reliant upon the International calendar.....


player clean out???


karnezis,manolas, sokratis, k.pap, samaris, taxi, fetfa, karelis, mitro, ninis, fortounis, mandalos, kapino,  will all be part of any rebuild and reload for WC 2020....SIMPLY THERE ARE NO OTHERS TO STEP UP....


The U21s lost 3-0 to Slovenia U21last month.....enough said....



Over and above the players I mentioned we then have Kolovos, Lagos, Klaus, Klonaridis, Bouchalakis, Fountas, Kaltsas, Petsos, Kourbelis, Oikonomou, Stafyllidis, Diamantakos, Siovas, Pelkas.


There are simply no OTHER choices.......


we are totally obliged to work with what we have.......and may be pinch hit with a few older guys like Holebas, Samaras, Aravidis,Kone, Torosidis  for any given match... based on current club form, team balance and opposition.


I have named 30+  players......sorry over and above that there are no others...



Qualifiers come around very quickly....we have 4 more in this campaign to find confidence, a game plan, and springboard for 2018 WC qualifiers.....No need to sit around crying....the world won't stop for us...we will be in the next draw, and the next and the next and the next...


Most of our players play in high standard leagues or have high exposure to UCL, Europa League opposition on a regular basis...


EPO reforming the structure at youth level is a different story...yet something tells me that the Faroe Islands FA with a population of 49,000 has a far bigger task to work on regarding youth development than EPO does....

so common sense would then indicate our problems are elsewhere....with the players mental preparation and the coaching staff's inability to find a suitable game plan..


my son plays U7s.....and every week we come up against teams that play different styles, different sized pitches and different level of ability..yet the coaches adapt the game plan accordingly....so to do the 6YO KIDS....And we end up winning more  games than we lose..........

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While Toro is our captain and the most experienced player in the starting XI most times, he's been poor. I remember him being one of the best early crossers of the ball I've seen. I haven't seen him hit a target in years. Skondras was one of few positives for PAOK last season, deserves a shot, especially if Vyntra is the current alternative

Edited by Pontos
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Anyway, this is my opinion of our current strongest XI


__Sokratis Papadopoulos Manolas

Torosidis______________ _Stafylidis


______Fetfa Samaris Ninis

_________ Mitroglou

Edited by Pontos
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1789, I value your thoughtful posts. Very analytical. I agree or can accept your perspective.

One thing I will add though, I believe that Mandalos is already at the level of his competition for the Attacking Midfield spot. The guy makes other players better. It's what we have been missing.

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From what I have seen of Kourbelis from his u19 NT stint and especially for Asteras he reminds me of a young Katsouranis.

He's relatively tall and is comfortable in either central defense or defensive midfield. Obviously he shouldn't ever play as a defender if he was selected for the Ethniki but he's versatile enough to play there.

He's composed on the ball. He doesn't posses amazing skill but he's fit and he reads the game well. Unlike Katsouranis in his prime, he doesn't get many goals though. His strengths are more defensive and breaking up the oppositions play in the midfield.

This coming season will show where he's at. He'll need to be consistent in the league and Europa. If he does well then I don't see why he shouldn't be in consideration for the Ethniki. Like a few others mentioned he probably should have been considered for these matches.

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altough we play our next match against finland , i want to see 2 dm's instead of 1 or 3. a little more experience and another captain as torosidis isnt up for the job.call me crazy and i also said before that i want katsouranis out but as dm samaris isnt cutting it , neither is tachtsidis really , just to slow but maybe if they both play as dm then it will work , plus we need a leader! samaris can be faster with benfica coz he have faster players around him also. im glad when kyriakos is back. with moras and katsouranis yesterday the team looked more relaxed. vyntra and tziolis didnt added anything that other also cant , they plain and simple sucked and are not needed. calling tavlaridis up was also strange considering his age. and plz , no more stafylidis untill he learned more , its to early for him to start. i say or sokratis , moras or katsouranis as captain. we need a fighter as captain who can stay calm.


id like to see something like this against finland , maybe  i add some adjustmends later but i cant come up with more at the moment. i never thought i would place katsouranis in it.







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I like that lineup except for Katsouranis starting, I'd still start Tachtsidis or Samaris because the time is now for them to gain experience since we are already out. And I really think Katsouranis is retiring, Atromitos released him today, an upper mid table team thought he wasn't good enough, I can only see him going to a lower club in Greek like a Panionios, back to India, or retiring.

We should have been starting 2 defensive midfielders from the beginning, this is what I wanted when Santos left. Santos would go with 3 DMs, when we could have gone with 2 and still won, now we've been going with 1 and we've been losing. Look at the World Cup, that's when we played our best under Santos IMO, we had two defensive midfielders and Kone in front of them, it worked out great for us as we could defend well still and attack better than we were in qualifying, if it wasn't for some spectacular saves we would have had more than 3 goals that tournament.

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I think someone must of mentioned something about Mantzios who used to play for Levadiakos and now plays for Platanias. I thought I show everyone some highlights of his goals. I think he should be given another go on the team since we cannot score with the players we have now.



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Samaras is technically still a West Brom player. So i guess he will train/ play with them if he doesnt find a new club in the summer. I don't blame him for not adapting to Saudi life, I've seen the training photos and all the players have to kiss the Saudi Princes who are just loads of old fat blokes sat on the touch line drinking tea. Very odd.



Edited by Chris Tsamados
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I think the problem is the midfield......and our inability for quick transition and to break with speed and purpose...not having great strikers does not help.... if we had Lewandowski we probably would have 8 more points as we would have beaten FI x 2 and Hungary.....but this would only mask our problems.....


we have good footballers in the midfield and wide options...Taxi, Samaris, Ninis, Kone, Fortounis, Fetfa, Mavrias, Petsos, Mandalos etc are decent players...the problem is that they are not a good 'combination'.....

in any given match we need 5 of these players in the 11.....they do not compliment each other enough to be a functional formation no matter how they are deployed...


these guys would be far more effective if the midfield included players like a Galletti, Chori, Djordjevic, Leto, Stelios, Zagorakis, Gilberto, Mirallas


for example....Samaris , Taxi and Fortounis would be great if they were flanked by  Galletti and Djole/Leto/Mirallas....instead of Ninis and Fetfa..


Ninis and Fetfa would be great if they had Chori, Zagorakis, Gilberto....


Hence why the more successful Greek clubs in their European runs go out and sign players of this caliber who make the difference

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Petsos can be useful but I have the feeling he could be just another (and perhaps lesser) version of Tachtsidis. However, even so he could be of some use for us. Our problem is quite another matter: our tactics should be based on defending (and counterattacks). Our best players are probably our central defenders (Manolas, Papastathopoulos, K. Papadopoulos etc.), we have real depth on the team only at central defense (we have 3-4 outstanding centre backs, and another 5-6 decent players - Siovas, Moras, Vyntra, Avraam, Tavlaridis, Malezas). That means, we should find midfielders and attackers who can help this defensive strategy, midfielders who arent afraid of doing the dirty work and are able to intercept passes, attackers who track back regularly and perform a role in our defending as well (it is good if they are somewhat physical). Players like Maniatis or even Tziolis are therefore of more use in our national team than the likes of Ninis, Mantalos, Kolovos, Fetfatzidis, Fountas or Fortounis. If the latter midfielders were outstanding, it would be rewarding to give them more playing time than they got under Santos or Rehhagel, but they arent. I think they arent so solid as for example Samaras or Katsouranis, none of them had 3-4 excellent matches in a row (compare the production of Fortounis vs Poland at Euro 2012 in the ~25 minutes he got, and his performance some days later against the Czech Republic - he wasnt so threatening then although he was in the starting eleven and was subbed out only in the 70th minute). Our success depends, to a large extent, on the successful defense, and that means players like Samaras, Salpingidis or even Kone can be more dangerous weapons in our attacking arsenal because they can be usable while defending. Of course this doesnt rule every less physical attacking midfielder and/or attacker out, but they must be really good to secure a place in the starting eleven. For example Stelios Giannakopoulos wasnt so tall and strong as Charisteas or even Salpingidis, but he excelled in the Champions League while playing for Olympiakos and then in the Premier League, allegedly more physical championship than most of the top tiers in Europe, he was undoubtedly our most successful player in the first tier in England. Greek footballers of this type should be as good as he was and then it would make sense to have them on the pitch.

Edited by La Mendel
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Mavrias i reckon will be the next Salpingidis they play similar and are passion and hardworking, also Karelis. I think we have no other good option up front i would try Mantzios, Aravidis, Dimitris Papadopoulos or even Samaras. We can t trust Mitroglou or Klaus to do the job. Gekas is out of the question. Who else does everyone think could do a consistent job from here on out for the National Team.

Edited by Dean97
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